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tv   [untitled]    March 30, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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chairperson mirkarimi: i am the chair of the public safety committee. we have a standing room capacity crowd here. i want to think everybody from the city family and throughout the city. it looks like literally every part of san francisco is well represented. i want to inform people that we have an overflow room. if you do not have a seat, we do not want to keep the standing. there will be a televised hearing in that particular room. >> item 1, hearing on the
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community police advisory boards at san francisco police departments stationed throughout the city. requesting the chief of police or other appropriate persons give a general update on the community advisory boards, including the structure, the goals, evidence that the goals are or are not being met, and the level of community participation. item two, hearing on the state of community policing in san francisco, requesting an update from the chief of police and mayor's office on the status of the efforts outlined in the november 2006 report and to clarify whether or not the department continues to embrace community policing strategies. item three, hearing on the update of the selection process for the san francisco police department chief. chairperson mirkarimi: thank you. i want to welcome various members of the san francisco
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police commission as well as the police chief and many senior members of our illustrious police department and district attorney's office, and a number of other city advisory groups and commissions. a few ground rules. we have called the two items together. we want to hear a quick update before we get into the essence of tonight's meeting about community policing, just about the chief selection process. we realize the limits that are placed on the disclosure of information about the process. but instead of letting here say and other information that is somewhat run it in a way that is not to the benefit of all, as soon as we hear from president mazzucco, we will return to the
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community policing caring. if it is ok, if we can start with mr. mazzucco, and then we will go into the rest of the hearing. president mazzucco: thank you, supervisors. this has turned into my new favorite topic. we are not here as a quorum. the police chief selection process started in earnest on sunday, january 9, when the former chief was sworn in as our next district attorney. we had some perimeter set. realistically, there was coined to be a new mayor within a year. we had to put out the posting for a job that may only be a one-year job. with those constraints and those parameters, we move forward. our goal was to build on the foundation of the last police chief search. our goal was to get the best
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possible chief for san francisco within the short term from. a little bit of history before i go into this. there is a lot of concern. there is a lot of rumors. rumors are rampant in san francisco i have noticed lately. one captain sent everything is controversial, even if we remove a tree from a median barrier. in the old days, there was five police commissioners. all five were appointed by the mayor. when the mayor would make his or her choice, they would call those five commissioners, who were not approved by the board of supervisors, and they would walk in and on wednesday and vote unanimously. after prop. 8, there was a cry from the community saying they need more input. that is through the police commission. so the structure changed. there are seven commissioners, four appointed by the mayor and
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three appointed by the board of supervisors. the community is represented by an incredibly diverse board on the police commission. we are taking this very seriously. what have we done? we have pulled up the foundation from last time, our search of less than two years ago. we did 53 community meetings and meetings with officers. we met with everybody from the faith-based community to almost every neighborhood, every district station, and the airport. we asked the community, "what are you looking for?" we asked the same of officers. we put together a profile. the profile is as follows. they want somebody who is community-focused, community policing, and engaged. that is the criteria, appropriate for tonight. respect of the rank-and-file, an inspirational leader not subject to politics, who will stand up
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to political leaders. a change agent. a crime fighter and innovator of new ideas. the communicator, media savvy. respect and embrace diversity. understand the need for the department of growth and understand immigration issues and that this is a sanctuary city. that is the criteria we reached. this is from talking to community officers. the officers told us they did not want a pencil pushers. the wanted a cop's cop. we said, "what is that?" it is someone who has significant command experience of 10 years at a major metropolitan police department, someone who has worked on the streets as a beat officer, somebody who has worked investigations and supervised officers on the street. somebody who has supervised the investigations. frankly, we get a profile of somebody who has spent a lot of time in the community. that is what the officers want. unless somebody has worked at
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the top stations and worked the tough watches -- they want somebody who is a real cop. that is what we started our process with. we had that foundation. we set three community meetings. we took the city and divided it into three. we started in the after sunset. we went to bayview. we cut the city down. the scheduled a meeting for all of the union leaders. we have civilian employees, the police department, and the union meetings -- union leaders. we met with groups that represent the pride alliance, the officers for justice. we reached out to them. we said, "what are you looking for in a chief?" in addition to those meetings, we got concerned and said, "we have to talk to more officers."
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we went out to midnight shift lineups and got an earful of interesting things. in addition, people have been reaching out to us. i heard from the longstanding member of the police department, 70 years old. he has been to 18 police chiefs. i talked to the homeless fellow i have coffee with in the morning outside of my starbucks. he had some input. we have been pretty good about reaching out to the community. we have had 75 applications. people covet this job. of that 75, we narrowed it to 25. we are now in the process of conducting interviews. we had interviews last tuesday evening, last night, and will have interviews again on saturday. we put a lot of time and effort into these interviews. we cannot disclose whether they are internal or external candidates because of the police
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officers' bill of rights. these are private matters. we do not not want somebody from outside to think -- to worry their city will find that they are interviewing for this job. in response to people complaining, they have to look at the criteria put forward. we are going to pick the best and most qualified person to run this department. we owe it to the city. we owe it to the police department. frankly, we are hoping to pick somebody that will survive the next mayor. that is our ultimate call. that is what we have been working on. that is where we are with the selection process. chairperson mirkarimi: thank you, mr. president. maybe a couple quick questions. i know that everybody has time constraints here. i appreciate that sort of higher view as to what is going on. again, we understand the limits of what you are able to disclose at this point. we are all sensitive to that.
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i think the most operative thing you said is surviving the next mayoral process. san francisco has been put through in the last two years -- we are on our third police chief, if you think about it. there could be a fourth, depending on the outcome of the mayor's race and the outlook of what that next chief executive should be. i just want to clarify the concern that i had registered in public, just so it is clear here. to many of us who have expressed concerns, hopes, and aspirations about doing everything we can to improve and better public safety, and connecting that to principles and strategies of community policing, i want to make sure that the best entree we have into harnessing and capturing the most unfettered ideas and perspective of the brightest and best of our police department, especially those who apply to be chief, would be registered by
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the selection process. when i heard that some of those people did not get an interview in that regard, that is the only thing that my antenna went up, because i wanted to make sure that as many times as we have been exchanging ideas and of how positive and spirited discussions with the police department in city hall, the police department is an institution. in some ways, they do not have the luxury or liberty to speak their mind in the way you would with may be a general citizen. to have that kind of repartee, we are not going to benefit from, in the way i think you would in a more intimate setting, when those of you who are screening potential applicants could really learn from that level of history and detailed in a way we might not benefit from.
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i think that was where some of the impetus was coming from. great hopes, i think, are placed on this process to be able to really be able to learn from, gleam information, and apply it to larger principles and strategies. i just thought i should clarify that. president mazzucco: thank you. i have in my prior employment worked as a prosecutor here. we have one of the most talented police departments i have ever seen. i compare our officers to federal agents i have worked with. there is a lot of talent. the reverse. different education backgrounds. it was tough to make a decision about who we were going to interview. but we had the baseline of 10 years of significant command experience. we have taken that seriously. effect came up. the san francisco police department is different than a lot of departments.
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a retired deputy chief said san francisco police officers since the '70s have been peace officers. they are not an occupying force. there are peace officers who work within the community. that is not lost with any members of the commission. that dovetails into what you're talking about. we are taking this seriously. none of us have had a free night in quite a while. we appreciate your input. the common theme has been coming up in some of our interviews. our candidates have been talking about working with the board of supervisors, assigning somebody to be assigned to each member of the board of supervisors. we are hearing good things. chairperson mirkarimi: are you saying that to make me feel good? [laughter] since these are anonymous comments anyway. so savvy. supervisor campos: thank you very much. i want to thank president
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mazzucco for being here, and interim chief godown, as well as members of his command staff and members of the police commission, including commissioners hammer, dejesus, and chan. we really want to hear from the public. many people came here, as you can see. for those of you who are watching, not only is the entire chamber of the board of supervisors pact, but you have an overflow room. that tells you the level of interest people have in community policing. the reason that we in my office wanted to have this hearing prior to the police commission sending names to the mayor for a recommendation is because we wanted to make sure that as we are choosing a chief, as we as a
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city are choosing a chief, that the person who is selected is going to have as much of a commitment to community policing as possible you mention that you want, or some folks indicated that you want a cop's cop, which is something i appreciate. but you can see here in this chamber people are wearing a sticker that says "we want a community police chief." they want a community cop as well. [applause] i hope that you understand the significance of why this hearing is taking place today, before those names are forwarded. we want to make sure that whoever is elected is going to be someone who is truly committed to making community policing as much of a reality in san francisco. president mazzucco: i could not agree with you more. if you notice from the list i read, the profile for the chief
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of police, the very first criteria is community- focused/community policing and engagement. no candidate we have spoken to or are going to talk to has not already overcome that hurdle. supervisor campos: the last thing i would say, speaking as someone who previously served on the police commission, in the last few years the police commission has undertaken many changes within the police department, a lot of innovation, a lot of things that allow this department to be the best department possible, to think outside the box. i hope that going forward we are also going to select someone who is going to continue those efforts, because it is important for us to make sure that as a department will continue to move forward. president mazzucco: in response to that, we have looked at candidates that will embrace the changes made by chief gascogne. there were structural changes in terms of inspectors being out in
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the stations, comstat. they have to embrace those changes or their names will not be sent to the mayor. chairperson mirkarimi: thank you, mr. president. we appreciate that. i do not believe there is any more commentary. we are going to segue into the fulcrum of what this hearing is about tonight. we will come up with chief godown in a second. if my colleagues want to speak to any primer points, i want to set up one particular point that might assist in the discussion that i think the chief is going to share with us. this document is called "community policing and problem solving." it was advanced by then-chief -- chief ribera in 1973. it crystallized the beginning of what community policing was in concept, literally 18 years ago.
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there were a few lines within the department general orders, which is essentially the operetta and bible. it is a good document. it was, in my opinion, cutting edge in 1993. if you looked at the general orders to date of the san francisco police department and look at what is in this document, there has been little that has ever been institutionalized manually that really obligates or establishes any level of accountability. that is a shame. i know that recently in a community meeting with chief godown and senior members of district stations in our area and the police department, chief godown hit the nail on the head
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by saying to a group of over 100 people that if he asks them for their definition of community policing he will get 100 different answers. everybody agreed with that. there was consensus of the fact that there is a diverse understanding of what that is. often we hear about is that when captains are changed in the 10 different stations that almost resets the community policing strategies that have been -- [applause] -- that have been established and devised. we hear about this all the time. some stations are lucky enough to get captains that have been there several years. that level of continuity, because they might be gregarious or extroverted, or were able to establish that level of relationship in a way that bread that kind of trust and the level of confidence between community and police.
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other stations have not been so lucky. there is a question sometimes of continuity and stability or the lack thereof. and when we hear from constituents, they really want to be able to establish something and be part of the solution, not of the problem. it sometimes can follow them in a very convoluted or schizophrenic way. and it is essential, i think, that if the next mayor, the next police chief, or the remainder police chief or any elected official -- somehow, we are obligated to do at this juncture, 18 years later, is to provide some level of expectation and accountability about community policing. it did not start with chief
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gascogne. it started well before chief ribera, but he thought to write it down. it is not going to stop with chief godown. but it is important that we find a way the citizenry knows what community policing means. i want to say thank-you to supervisor campos for helping speer had this hearing, and his staff bringing together the facility and foreign tonight. -- forum tonight. [applause] secondly, when the public or police here and the supervisor or elected official decry the fact that they want to see more police, and i was someone who went out on a limb by this, much to the chagrin of many in the force, by saying, "get out of their cars and get to know the public." it was not meant to be punishment.
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it was actually a compliment. we wanted to see more of a relationship between sfpd and the community, so it would foster the relationship that had been absent in areas that people, i think, were craving. the way i think some people within the department or culture of the department think that what policing is a luxury it -- that mystifies me. i know there are other cities who do not. i am hoping that here tonight we will be able to figure out what is the sweet spot that helps to identify community policing that also is able to be supported by the resources of staffing and the budgetary resources, so that this is seen as a wise and practical endeavor. i want to thank the chief and everybody else for being here. supervisor campos: chief, again thank you for being here. before we begin with the hearing, i wanted to provide some from work or how we got
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here, why we are here. for those of you who are looking at the agenda, there are three items on the agenda. one of the items we just went through, which is a report on the process of selecting a chief. the other item is a hearing on a body that was created by then- chief gascogne, the community police advisory boards, which were created as the cornerstone for community policing within the department. we thought it was important for us to get an update on how those bodies are doing, how they are functioning, and to hear not only from the police department, but more importantly to hear directly from the community. to the extent that this is the cornerstone of community policing in san francisco, we want to know how that are going. the second item is an item we introduced along with supervisor
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mirkarimi, which is to have a discussion about what we mean when we say "community policing," to finally come up with a definition that makes sense for san francisco, knowing that we say a lot about community policing and do not really know what we mean when we say "community policing." what does it mean citywide? what does it mean in each one of the district stations? that definition is something we believe it is important to codify so there is uniformity at least in terms of the concept of community policing in the city and county of san francisco, recognizing that community policing will look differently, depending on the characteristics of a specific neighborhood. i want to provide that context. if i may ask, chief, after you're done with your statement -- i know you have a number of members of your staff who are
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here. we do have some youth from bernal heights who have come here to provide their perspective. with school in session, they have to leave very shortly, so i was hoping that once you have the opportunity to make a statement we could take a few minutes before we continue with the rest of the presentation to hear directly from those youth so we have an opportunity to hear their perspective on why we are here. thank you again for being here. chief godown: it is my pleasure. supervisor campos: we also have some of the mission girls, who are facing the same time constraints. my apologies. chief godown: i will be quick. i have a large amount of staff here. i have the community policing expert -- chairperson mirkarimi: a little higher with the microphone. sorry. chief godown: i will have to leave -- lean over.
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we will provide a power point presentation in a couple minutes to talk about community policing. it will give you an update on where we are. we will also talk about how many foot beats we step on a daily basis, based on some of the criteria in the community policing literature. i think that what will happen at the end of the evening is we might still be sitting here trying to define what community policing is. everybody has their own definition. the reality is community policing in its basic form is any time we go out and talk to the community. when we engage the community in and the police function, it is the worst form of community policing. community policing to meet -- i agree the officers need to get out of their cars. the cornerstone of our philosophy is community policing. an important aspect for me is to get the community involved in the day today actions of what the police department does.
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the community needs to be more involved. there are other things we can do and other ways that we can better ourselves with community policing. we have a substantial community policing policy in our department. i think the power point you were going to see is very robust and will answer a lot of questions. when you talk about the definition, everybody is going to have a definition of what they think it should be. with that, i am going to allow you to bring up your speakers. then we will have the power point. afterward, we will come back up. supervisor campos: thank you. we have 13 youth from the bernal heights neighborhood center and three youth from mission girls. i would ask them to come up. you each have two minutes. i want to make sure you get home in time to do your homework and everything you need to do to ma